2022 Predictions Series: Search Continues to Evolve

Search as we know it is long gone. Consumers seek greater sensory experiences in their search approach and expect both their results and their tactile interactions with websites to evolve. Increases in voice search (20 percent of all searches), video search (YouTube is the second largest search engine), and visual search (19 percent of all searches return image-based results) has changed the entire landscape. 

Your future search performance requires a balance of showing your deep expertise surrounding your destination, referential authority through user engagement and trusted links, and technical performance and compliance.

The Rise of SEO

While content is king, it will not drive improved organic search results alone. Look to create exceptional SEO-friendly content experiences that integrate text, images, video, gamification, and other interactive content. Content should be focused on your ideal audience and the experience they are seeking, not just on the facts of your destination. Also, content does not always need to be new. Optimizing old web pages can drive new traffic too. Most organic visits are from first-time visitors, so what you have re-written even 10 times is still brand new to them.

Optimize for Best Results

Optimization of websites will continue to be of utmost importance when it comes to ranking high in search results. The release of Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics is factored into search results, making website performance and user experience a key indicator in determining placement in search results. You must optimize for page load speed, particularly with the size of images and video files, for the best results.

SERP Evolutions 

Google’s featured snippets and knowledge maps combined with the growth of zero-click searches deliver content on the search engine results page (SERP) without requiring a click. This evolution makes your technical approach to SEO even more important. Optimizing your on-page SEO structure and schema implementation for events, articles, FAQs, and videos is critical for showing up in highly-visible SERPs. 

Ranking Your Videos

Perhaps the most significant changes we’ve seen in search are video searches. Much like some of the keyword tactics of long ago, a robust tagging strategy could quickly move videos to the top of the search rankings for that keyword. As we move into 2022, tags have much less importance, and focusing on the right keyword, title, description, and video completion rates will drive performance in search.

The Downside of Search

We see levels of paid search and structured snippets dropping organic results well below the fold. You need to keep a strong search engine marketing strategy focused on your target audiences to ensure your message is being discovered and not conquested by competing destinations.

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, where we will be sharing more predictions for this year from our team.

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